Cold weather is chili weather, so here's a variation on traditional chili. This recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis's latest book, Giada at Home and she's also featured this recipe on her Food Network show. I picked up the book (at full retail price, ouch!) at the NYC Wine and Food Festival last month and this is the first recipe I've tried. E and I really enjoyed it and we ate the leftovers for lunch over a few days.
Although I will eat beef in chili, beef isn't my favorite food, so I was delighted to find a good recipe for chili that uses lean chicken and plenty of vegetables. I modified Giada's recipe to suit the ingredients we had on hand.
White Bean and Chicken Chili
Slightly modified from Giada De Laurentiis's White Bean and Chicken Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground chicken
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
3 tablespoons flour
2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup half and half
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir the flour into the chicken mixture. Add the beans and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 55-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in half and half. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Ladle the chili into serving bowls.